“I always like a challenge” (Gavin Harrison)
“Challenge” is definitely the word that Gavin Harrison has probably used the most during this interview and it’s the word that best defines him…for sure!
But there’s another one: “Generosity”.
Let’s start from “Challenge”.
Since he started his career as a session drummer, Gavin Harrison had to switch from one challenge to another, having to play along with artists belonging to the most diversified genres, from Iggy Pop to Lisa Stansfield. He even spent quite some time in Italy, recording and touring with Claudio Baglioni (he plays drums also in his latest album, “In questa storia, che è la mia”, which will be released on December 4th, 2020), as well as with Franco Battiato.
In 2002, he joined Porcupine Tree and recorded their album “In Absentia”.In fact, in that period, Steven Wilson, founder of Porcupine Tree, had already started to give a new “more rock and more metal” sound to the band. Gavin contributed to the release of these new sounds, a real turning point.
In 2008, Robert Fripp, founder of the progressive rock band King Crimson, asked Gavin Harrison to join the band. His vision was to have a band playing with two drummers and wanted Gavin to play but, first, to re-arrange the songs accordingly.
After a five-year hiatus, King Crimson came back in 2013 with a new vision and a lineup including three drummers positioned at the front of the stage, and the other four band members, Fripp included, at the back on a riser.
Gavin had to rethink all the songs for the three drummers to meet Robert Fripp’s new vision.
In 2016, he was asked to join The Pineapple Thief. At that time, Gavin had already been a session drummer with them on their album “Your Wilderness” (2016). After joining as an effective band member, he contributed to co-writing the songs on “Dissolution” (2018) and, of course, on their most recent album “Versions of the Truth”, published on September 4th, 2020.
But there’s more, because Gavin Harrison doesn’t want to be on the safe side…never!
And yes, if he had ever thought he’d have to be playing along with a string quartet or a full orchestra, we will never know.
What we know is that when his friend, Antoine Fafard asked him to take part in a joint project, involving a string quartet and a full orchestra (and yes, Jerry Goodman!), he immediately said “yes”.
The result of their work is the album “Chemical Reactions”, which will be published on December 11th , 2020.
We could go on for hours talking about how Gavin Harrison had contributed to the sound and to the rhythm of many, many artists, at the front of the stage, at the back, in a recording studio and maybe, in the future, floating in the air. His sound is and will always be impeccable.
The result of all these challenges, of all the risks, is also showed in the number of Awards he has received so far. Modern Drummer readers’ poll for “best progressive drummer of the year” from 2007 to 2010, and again in 2016 and 2019. Prog voted him “best drummer” in 2011, 2012, 2018 and 2019. Rolling Stone polls place him as “third best drummer in the past 25 years”. And these are just a few.
And then, there is his “generosity”. There’s no other artist who is always so willing to share his experience and his tricks with his fans, from publishing videos to giving masterclasses.
In this interview, which is the result of a one-hour Skype call, Gavin Harrison talks about his experiences as a musician but you will also find out how he felt when he had the chance to meet his music heroes, even that time in NYC, after a concert with Iggy Pop…
Q.: You have been pretty busy with two albums: The Pineapple Thief’s “Versions of the Truth”, published on Sept. 4th and, of course your project with Antoine Fafard which will be released on December 11th. We’ll talk about this in a minute. Considering these weird times we’ve all been through, how have you been spending your “lockdown” time, except from music?
G.H.: I’ve been very busy, actually. I’ve been recording a lot. You know, I’ve recorded the project with Antoine the early part of this year and during the lockdown period and halfway through the project he said: “You could play marimba, right?” and I said: “Well, you know, I own a marimba”. And he started sending me marimba parts. He took me a long time because those were for someone who could play marimba very well. I’ve been involved in some other projects. I filmed a few things. One thing was for “The Percussive Arts Society Convention”. I filmed a 40-minute lesson and performance. And these things take a lot of time. I don’t do things lightly. I don’t just get an iPhone and it’s all done in five seconds. I always go the long way round. I bought a few cameras, and then did the recording and editing of the multi-track audio. It becomes a really big thing for me. It took about five days to film a 40-minute piece.
I’ve been writing and recording some more things with Bruce, so I actually I’ve been very, very busy.
Q.: “Chemical Reactions” is the title of the album which is the result of your collaboration with Antoine Fafard. Was it conceived during the Covid pandemic? And if so, how did the two of you manage to exchange your ideas and record it?
G.H.: As almost every session I do, it’s all remote now. Luckily I have a nice studio home and I have had the same studio for 23 years, so I tend to do 99% of my sessions here. Unfortunately, they are always on my own, so there’s no instant feedback. But with Antoine, he lives in London so we speak on the phone and we exchange a lot of messages. It was not too difficult. When I do jobs for people living on the other side of the world, sometimes you have to wait 24 hours before they even tell you if they like it or not. And that becomes more difficult to have a relationship once the recording is taking place. In previous times, you would be in the studio with the artist, with the producer and everything you play, they can give you feedback in real time. In today’s world, you got to wait sometimes a day to even get a reply. With Antoine it’s very easy because we’re both on the same musical kind of path. We’re both going in the same direction. So I know he’s gonna write things I like and he knows I’m probably going to play things on the drums that he likes. So, it’s very easy. I like relationships like that.
Q.: The album will be made of 6 songs recorded with a string quartet and 2 songs with a full orchestra. I watched the video teaser and you said that it was “a fascinating musical journey” and also “one of the most challenging projects” you’ve been involved with. What was the most difficult aspect of playing with an orchestra or with a string quartet?
G.H.: (laughs). There hasn’t been a lot of drum sets with orchestra. So you really have to find your own way on how to make your instrument and your ideas fit inside an orchestral setting. I didn’t want to play “karaoke style”, just playing whatever I wanted ‘on top’ of the orchestra. I wanted to sound like I fitted inside the orchestra. So it takes a little bit more consideration to really find a good, sympathetic way to come together with the orchestra, in an organic, meaningful way. So, it took more time to consider what I could play that would fit musically and sonically with the orchestra.
Q.: And you guys added Jerry Goodman on violin on one of the tracks (“Singular Quartz”). Was it the first time for you working with him?
G.H.: No, no. I know he’s an old friend of Antoine and has worked with him many times. The first time I worked with Antoine was in 2012 and he made an album where every track was with a different drummer. And I think there is Simon Phillips, and there is Dave Weckl, there is Chad Wackerman, Terry Bozzio and I played on one song. And on that song Jerry Goodman played the melody. So, yeah, it’s a great honor to work with him.
Q.: Now I would like to go back in the days. You got into music because of your father and you started your career when you were really young, playing records and touring with artists belonging to the most diversified music genres. Also with Italian artists like Claudio Baglioni and Franco Battiato. What did you learn from those experiences? And what about the Italian artists you’ve had the chance to work with?
G.H.: I mean. That was amazing. I didn’t grow up in Italy so I didn’t know who Claudio Baglioni was when, in 1991, a promoter called me and said: “I’d like to invite you to come to play in Italy with Claudio Baglioni”. So I said: “Ok…let’s talk tomorrow”. And then, as soon as I finished the phone call, I called an Italian friend who lived in Milan and said: “Tell me. Who’s this guy…Claudio Baglioni.” I couldn’t even say his name correctly. I didn’t know if Claudio was like a singer who plays in a club or in theatre or in a stadium. My friend answered: “He’s very, very famous in Italy. He is enormous.” And I said: “Really?” “Yes. And I know that Tony Levin would be the bass player.” And I said: “Wow. That’s amazing”. So I went from not knowing anything about Claudio to coming to Italy. And the first six months I was in Italy we played in incredible places. Incredible amounts of people. And it was funny, because all the audience sang along and myself and Tony were probably the only two people in the whole stadium who didn’t know the songs. You know, I’ve met people who love Claudio and Eros Ramazzotti and Eugenio Finardi, Fiorella Mannoia and then I’ve met people who didn’t love these people. But I’ve never met an Italian who didn’t like Franco Battiato. Franco is a very special person. And, you know, I really liked his attitude. He’s a real artist. He doesn’t care about selling records, or having a hit record, or being on TV. He didn’t care about any of those things. He has a very good sense of humour and, you know, we had a really nice time together. I think I made maybe four albums with him. And we had some really funny times. Even though my Italian is terrible and his English is not great, we could feel each other’s personality through the music. There’s some magic that happens with music. Even if you work with people who you can’t understand what they’re saying because you don’t speak Italian or any other situation, with music you can actually feel the character, you can feel the personality inside the music and inside the performance. So I knew very quickly that I was going to like Franco on the very first day I met him. And we had a very nice relationship. He was completely trusting. Whatever I played, he said: “Oh yeah, Gavin, that’s great. That’s great”. (Laughs). Even if I didn’t like it, he said: “Ok, great. Let’s do the next song”. And I said: “No, Franco. I don’t know if this is the right thing”. So, yeah, I really had a nice time with Franco. A couple of times we went to studios like in Bath, to Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios and then another time we went to Paris to record one of Franco’s records. He had this beautiful song called “La Cura”. Every Italian I’ve ever met likes that song. Even though I don’t fully understand all the lyrics, it’s easy to tell it’s a beautiful song. You can understand a lot about the person from the music. You don’t need to understand the lyrics necessarily.
Q.: Regarding the latest Pineapple Thief’s album, “Versions of the Truth”, you contributed to the songwriting which was something pretty new for the band considering that since then Bruce Soord was the only one writing all the songs. How was that experience?
G.H.: I co-wrote the songs on the previous album called “Dissolution” but the first record I did with them was called “Your Wilderness”. I got that really good feeling like I did with Franco Battiato when I started to communicate with Bruce. On “Your Wilderness” I was just a session drummer and he let me do whatever I thought including rearranging the songs. I would say to Bruce: “Look. I think this part’s too long. This part’s too short. I think this part could be better in a different time signature.” And he would say: “Ok. Can you make a little demo and show me what you mean?”. I made him a demo and he would say: “Yeah, I love it. Do that!” So, I actually contributed quite a lot to “Your Wilderness”, more than I would normally as a session drummer. And we started to have a nice relationship and he said: “Would you consider playing with us live a short tour?” So I did a short tour with them, and then Bruce said: “Would you consider writing some songs for the next record with me?” So, it was great fun. I’m always happy to meet people you feel a good partnership with. So it was great fun.“Versions of the Truth” I think is a progression from the previous record “Dissolution” and we got into some nice new sounds.
Q. Was “Versions of the Truth” recorded during the Covid pandemic?
G.H.: No. It was actually recorded before then. We finished mixing it during Covid. But you know, it’s the same thing. Bruce lives about three and a half hours from me. Jon, the bass player, lives about two hours and Steve, the keyboard player, lives about four hours away. So, all our recording is separate.
Q.: Some might say that The Pineapple Thief is more “rock” oriented and Porcupine Tree is more “psychedelic, melancholic”, even if it’s undeniable that since you joined the latter, there has been a more rock switch. Do you agree on this?
G.H.: Yeah, in fact, some fans thought I destroyed it. I mean, when I joined Porcupine Tree, they were already starting on a much heavier path, more rock, more metal and, really for me, it was one of the first time I had to deal with playing “metal style” music. So, that was an interesting challenge. I had never really played metal before. I played some heavy punk with Iggy Pop a long time before that but most of the jobs I had done since Iggy Pop were more R&B, soul and pop and things like that. Porcupine Tree was a good challenge for me. I always like a challenge, I always like to see if I can sound different or play different. It was like a brand new start for me. Porcupine Tree had already existed for 9 years before I was asked to join. The band used to be more kind of Pink Floyd, space rock and when I joined it became more rock and more heavy.
Q.: Let’s switch to your experience with King Crimson. Would you tell me what’s the feeling of being part of this band and of working and creating with them?
G.H.: Yeah. It’s different from any other group I’ve ever been in. It’s a very special band and they play very special music, almost a genre in themselves. Robert encourages people. He says: “You can play anything you want, but don’t play mundane. Don’t play boring rock beats. So, do anything you want.” And that’s quite an interesting challenge. When I joined in 2008, it was myself and Pat Mastelotto, so two drummers, which was a pretty new idea for me, although I had already done a double drummer thing with Elio Rivagli, inside some of the tours with Claudio Baglioni. But that was a different kind of setup. So, in 2008 I joined the band and played with Pat Mastelotto and Tony Levin, Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew. It was very interesting music and interesting arrangements and a new challenge to find good drum parts for two drummers. And then, at the end of 2008, the band stopped and then Robert restarted the band with three drummers in 2013. He asked me if I could arrange the drum parts for the three drummers. So that was a big challenge because many of the the King Crimson songs originally only had one drummer, so you have to completely rethink how you’re gonna play these songs. And he said: “You don’t have to make it sound like the original. In fact, I don’t want you to make it sound like the original, I want you to treat every song like it’s a new song, regardless of when it was written”. So, yeah, it’s been a very big project for the last six years.
Q.: I was at Umbria Jazz in 2019, first row, and I couldn’t prevent myself from noticing how you guys look at each other. I’m sure that one look is enough for you to understand what to do. When you play live with them, how much is “rehearsed” and how much is done just like “improvisation”? But above all, how is having “to share the rhythmic session with two other drummers?” Do you like being in front of the audience instead of being in the back?
G.H.: Robert has a vision and I think it is important that every band has a vision. He woke up one day and he said: “I could imagine a new version of Crimson with three drummers at the front of the stage and four guys behind on a riser.” He could already see what it was gonna look like. It’s unusual to have the drummers at the front of the stage. And it’s strange for me because I’ve always been at the back of the stage. However, this setup doesn’t emphasize the singer as the band leader. In the 2008 band, we were set up much more in a traditional way, with myself and Pat Mastelotto at the back, Adrian Belew in the center, at the front. He talked to the audience and there was the usual relationship between the singer and the audience. Now, in the new version of King Crimson, Jakko, the singer, is at the back and he never talks to the audience. So, it’s more like an “orchestra” situation than a “rock band” situation. The problem with a rock band is sometimes the focus is all about the singer. The singer talks to the audience, has a connection with the audience and the rest of the band sits in the background. This is a completely new way to present a rock group where it’s not focused all the time just on the vocalist. So it’s a kind of “prog, rock ’n’ roll orchestra”. So, that was kind of interesting to me. It was strange to be at the front. We tried to set up the drums in a way that we can just see each other. The only person I can’t see is Robert! Maybe, that’s a good thing!
(Me: But he can see everybody. And he can see if people are taking pictures! ‘Cause he doesn’t allow no one to take pictures…).
In fact, that concert was open air, right? And it rained in the afternoon. I remember. It was the last show of our European tour.
Q.: You said that when Robert Fripp approached you and asked you to be part of King Crimson you honestly told him that you didn’t know any of their songs and he said that it was even better. So how did you approach their music and iconic songs like “21st Century Schizoid Man”, for example?
G.H.: I mean. I had heard a few songs in the past and, yeah, you’re correct. I told Robert: “You know, I don’t really have much of your music”. And I think he saw that as a good thing.” So, when you listen to songs like “21st Century Schizoid Man”, I mean, it’s a very unusual piece actually and it’s a lot of fun to play. I didn’t need to reinvent the wheel for that particular piece. It just needed to be well played and well-orchestrated. There are times where we improvise, but when all three drummers are playing at the same time we have to have a choreography, we have to have a musical arrangement, otherwise it would be just chaos. So, there are times in many songs where one drummer is playing and the other two are not playing where you can improvise. In fact, I play a solo in “21st Century Schizoid Man” so you’re encouraged to improvise as much as you can, but some of the parts only make sense for the three drummers if we play a choreographed part that fits together.
Q.: ”The music of the future will not entertain/it’s only meant to repress and neutralize your brain” (Porcupine Tree – The Sound of Muzak – Album: In Absentia). I’m sure you know this song.
(Laughs) I do know that song. We played that song so many times.
This song was written in 2002. Twenty years later, do these lyrics resonate with you? What’s your view on today’s music and on music 20 years from now?
G.H.: It depends on your age. Music today doesn’t quite thrill me in the way it did when I was younger but I think that the music that you listen to between the age of fifteen and twenty really shapes your life. The music means so much to you and it really gets into your blood when you are in that very impressionable point in your life between fifteen and twenty years old. And the things that I listened to, I still love to listen to and I still get fantastic feelings when I listen to the music of that period in my life. Of course, I mean, my father grew up in the 40s and 50s, he listened to jazz, he listened to bebop, he listened to big bands and when The Beatles and The Rolling Stones came along in the early 60s, my father said: “This is the death of music. This is absolute rubbish. It’s just a load of noise”. There comes a point in your life when you hear new things played by young musicians and you think: “This is just a load of noise!” And then you remember: “Wow, I sound like my father now”. There’ll always be new music and it will mean something to the musicians or the listeners of that generation. I don’t think fifteen year olds are listening to the same music that I listened to when I was fifteen. That’s the progression of life. I do hear great things about musicians that I don’t know so much about in pop music today. I couldn’t even tell you who the top ten selling artists are or who is really famous right now. People sometimes say to me: “Oh, do you know this band?” And I just say: “No. I’ve never heard of them.” “What? They were headlining Glastonbury festival”. And I say: “I’ve never heard of them”. So you do kind get out of touch with what is really modern because you’re a lot older.
Q: And what about technology? I mean, technology has played a big part in everybody’s life, especially at times like these. How important is technology as far as music is concerned? Do artists use too much technology today?
G.H.: I don’t actually really care. In the end, the only thing that matters is the result. And the only thing that matters is: “Do I like it?” It doesn’t matter to me if they have used samples, if they’ve used Auto-Tune, if everything is corrected in a computer. Ok, use whatever tools are available to you, in your generation. You know, when the “multi-track tape” appeared in the 60s and 70s, it meant that you could record yourself, singing harmony to yourself, something that was impossible before that time. If we go back a hundred years, there was virtually no recorded music. If you want to listen to music, you have to hear a live group, a live orchestra, a live band. And it’s all fine. I don’t think any of this as “cheating”, because in the end it’s just a canvas and you paint on the canvas with whatever tools and paint you want. The only thing that’s gonna matter to me is: “Is it any good? Do I like it? Does it say something to me artistically?” It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be acoustic instruments. It could be all synthesizers and all drum machines. A good example of that is The Blue Nile. When I first heard The Blue Nile, there’s not many real acoustic sounds on it. It’s all drum machines and synthesisers and an incredible singer. And I loved it. I could feel the artistic intention from it. I think what you’re trying to get is to feel some kind of connection with the artist who made it, whether they’re working in paint, or stone, or plastic, or virtual 3-D. Does it mean anything to you? Is it gonna change your life? Is it gonna make you look at the world differently or have an interesting reaction or feel melancholic or sad or happy, or any emotion at all. However, some things don’t connect with you. The technology has been very useful in that you can make music from people all around the world, people you’ve never met and produce a record that sounds really good. Some people I’ve made records with I’ve never met, I’ve never even spoken to them on the phone. Everything was done through e-mails and exchanging files. But it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is the result. And if the record sounds good, and if the record connects with people, then it’s a success.
Q.: The “architecture of sound” is also very important. Different sounds and genres belong to different kind of venues. You have been playing in the most different locations and audiences, from tiny clubs in front of 20 people with Porcupine Tree to the Royal Albert Hall and everything in between, even big stadiums with Claudio Baglioni for example. Is there a location, a venue that you are always looking forward to play in?
G.H.: I don’t personally like playing outdoors because it is nice if you can feel the sound of the drums in the room. The truth is, unless you are playing in a jazz club, you can’t really hear the other musicians acoustically. So you can’t balance yourself in a natural way, unless you are playing a very small venue. Once you start playing large clubs, arenas, sports halls, stadiums it is like you’re in a studio. Everyone’s got monitors and we’re all listening to personalized mixes. So you could be on stage, you could be in the dressing room, you’re isolated in a strange, unrealistic way, like you’re in a studio and you’re all in different rooms. That becomes normality. You get used to playing with (in-ear monitors) headphones, having control of the volume of different elements of the mix and it’s strange. It’s bit like acting in front of a “green screen”. You just get used to it. In the end it becomes normal. When I started playing with Claudio Baglioni in very big sports halls, I had headphones on so you’re presenting is an illusion. What we hear is not the same as the audience hears. That is in the responsibility of the sound engineer. In a jazz club that holds 100 people, then the mix and the sound of the band is much more in the hands of the musicians, how loud they play and how they balance themselves. But once you get passed a small jazz club, you get into having monitoring and then, you’re into a whole different world and that world has now become normal. You just get used to wearing headphones and you just get used to hearing things through a mixer. Someone could be standing next to you playing guitar and you can’t even hear them. It’s kind of unnatural but it’s the way we make concerts now, just like the way we make records now. We all play on our own, isolated in the different parts of the world. But hopefully when the person listens to the record and close their eyes, they can imagine we are all in the same room and playing at the same time. You know, it’s like making a film. A 30-minute film is not made in 30 minutes. It takes months, and months and then, they edit it all together and it becomes something believable.
Q. If I might ask, did it happen also at The Royal Albert Hall? Did you have to wear headphones?
G.H.: Yeah, absolutely. The headphones are almost completely isolating. You can’t hear much outside of the headphones but you can sense the room. I prefer playing theaters and nice, proper concert halls like the Royal Albert Hall. Playing in sports halls is difficult as they are never made for sound. So, you can have some pretty unhappy times. The one in Rome, the PalaEur, has a horrible sound because it wasn’t designed as a concert hall. I saw Peter Gabriel play Earl’s Court exhibition hall and between songs he was talking to the audience and I couldn’t understand one word he said. So, when the band played and he was singing, it was just a great, big acoustic mess. I saw him in Wembley Arena but I was close to the front, so I could really, clearly hear the PA. I’ve had some bad experiences in some halls that it’s just not enjoyable. Sometimes the audience can be so loud that you can’t hear. In 1987 I saw Peter Gabriel at Earl’s Court and, as a special guest, for one time only, he sang “Don’t give up” and Kate Bush came on stage. All the audience stood up and screamed because Kate Bush almost never makes live appearances. I couldn’t hear one note Kate Bush sang, because the audience went crazy. In London, last year, King Crimson played The Palladium Theatre. It was a very nice show. Afterwards, I came backstage and there was a lady standing by the door, next to my girlfriend, and she said: “Oh, You’re Gavin’s girlfriend. You must be so proud of him. He was so fantastic, wasn’t he?” And then I realised it was Kate Bush. She really looks different these days but I could see it was her. It was a really special moment for me to meet her and to talk to her. She was completely without any ego.
Q.: There’s one thing that I really like about you and it’s your generosity. You are not jealous of your tricks and there are many videos of you sharing your experience and showing how you play. This is something that not every artist does. You also give master classes on drumming. What’s an advice you can give especially to young generations approaching drums?
G.H.: Well, it’s a complicated question. Usually, I tell young drummers: “Just work on your timing and your sound. If you’ve got a really nice sound and a really nice timing everything else will follow and people will want to work with you. If you want to be a solo drummer and you wanna play really fast and you want to impress people on YouTube showing how fast you can play, well, you might be really fast now, but it won’t take long before some kid half your age can play faster than you. It’s not a good path to take to try to be the world’s fastest drummer. I wanted to be a musician and the drums were the instrument that spoke to me but, you know, I’m trying to make music. I’m not trying to play the drums like it’s an Olympic event. So, if you just try to be musical and you have a nice sound with nice timing, the world will open up to you”.
Q.: And last but not least. While you are not practicing or involved in one of your countless projects, what kind of music do you listen to? Are there young artists you would suggest?
G.H.: I listen to so many different things. Normally, something appears in my head and I say: “Oh. I wanna hear some Peter Gabriel, or Kate Bush or David Bowie”. And then, some other times I float around YouTube and I discover things, some good things, some bad things. And I start to discover some types of music I don’t know much about. When I joined Porcupine Tree, as I said, I didn’t know much about metal music and Steven Wilson introduced me to a band called Meshuggah. They are a Swedish, I would say, extreme metal band. But, inside metal music, there a lot of sub-genres which I don’t know. I started to listen to Meshuggah and I was amazed. It was incredible. There was real beauty. Even though the music is deliberately brutal and aggressive there are really some beautiful rhythms and melodies and great ideas. I really enjoyed listening to them.
Actually I have one more story for you.
In 1986 I was playing with Iggy Pop and we played in New York. After the concert I was the first person in the band to go back to the dressing room. The other guys were still behind me somewhere. When I went into the room there was someone in the dressing room. I said: “Hello!” and he said: “Hello!”. And I thought: “Man, I don’t like people in the dressing room when we’re not there because we’ve got out clothes, personal possessions”. I was a bit annoyed. Then, I’m just starting to get changed and I thought: “It’s strange that guy had a really British accent”. Then, I turned around and it was David Bowie! (Laughs) I found myself in a very strange position of being alone in a room with David Bowie and I was really shocked. I’m a massive David Bowie fan. There are millions of people who would love to have spent five minutes on their own with David Bowie. Once I recognised who he was, I went over and spoke with him and he invited the whole band to go to a club with him and Iggy Pop. I also remember my first time at Real World Studios, I went into the studio kitchen and Peter Gabriel was there. He turned around and said: “Oh, hello. My name’s Peter”. I said: “Yeah, I know”. And he asked: “Would you like a cup of tea?” So I said: “Yeah. If you’re gonna make me a cup of tea, it would be the best cup of tea I’ve ever had”. It was another fantastic moment, to meet one of your heroes in an unusual situation.